(Can’t Wait For Sunday News) Worldcon Business Meeting Motion

Worldcon, coming up at the end of August, regularly conducts the WSFS business meeting where, among other things, possible changes to the Hugo Awards are proposed, discussed and then voted on by the membership. (Going to Worldcon? You’re a member and you get to vote, if you want to.)

John Scalzi today published portions of the text of an upcoming proposal and comes out four-square against it.

So does Amazing Stories.

Here’s the proposal:

NEW BUSINESS (full proposal here)
4.1.3 Short Title: Deleting Best Fanzine, Best Fan Writer, and Best Fan Artist from the WSFS Constitution Moved, that the listed sections be deleted from the WSFS Constitution and
other sections be renumbered appropriately: 3.3.13 Best Fanzine 3.3.15 Best Fan Writer 3.3.16 Best Fan Artist

It’s been put forth by Milt Stevens and seconded by Linda Deneroff (names that will be familiar to Trufen and SMoFs the world over) and it essentially recommends that WSFS no longer offer Hugo Awards for Best Fanzine, Best Fan Writer and Best Fan Artist.

Before explaining why I agree entirely with John Scalzi’s position, I feel compelled to mention that business meeting proposals are sometimes put forth to kill debate on a subject – to lance the boil as it were – and that those proposing and seconding proposals some times do so out of legislative responsibility rather than any personal endorsement of the ideas expressed in them. I don’t know if either or both are the case here, but those not familiar with the process and the background deserved to know this.

Now, why do I agree with Scalzi?

Because I certainly think that the work of the Amazing Blog Team is worthy of consideration – individually for the Fan Writer Award and collectively for the Fanzine Award.  Call me guilty of campaigning for a Hugo.

Maybe there are good reasons for retaining these awards (I certainly think so!) but for me, the best reason for keeping them is that some day Amazing Stories might be considered for one and I don’t want anyone taking that possibility away.  Not from me and not from anyone else.

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  1. Fanzines have no “size restrictions” per se. I think the point being raised by Milt Stevens – the proposer of the measure – is that the fan Hugos are no longer relevant to the SF community at large, especially to those fans who inhabit the fanzine area of fandom. I can certainly understand where Milt, John Scalzi and Steve Davidson are coming from. Many people consider themselves sf fans whether or not they are getting paid for expressing their opinions, and it doesn’t really matter where those opinions are expressed – in an online fanzine, a blog, a website, listserv, or a paper-only fanzine,. The question as far as AMAZING STORIES goes is how the blog aspect is perceived: a lot of it certainly sounds like fans doing what they do – nattering back and forth to each other about things that matter to them. Also, can the blog aspect of AMAZING be separated from its professional fiction content, which is coming. It will be interesting to see how this critter eventually fits into the scheme of things.

  2. Is ASM considered a fanzine? I’m out of the loop. I would consider a fanzine as a newsletter run by 1-5 people, not more than a hundred bloggers contributing to an SF-related website. Are there no size restrictions on what a fanzine is?

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